Grant from McGregor Fund Supports
Posted June 12, 2001
HOLLAND -- A major grant from the McGregor Fund of
Detroit is providing additional opportunities for Hope
College students to conduct original research.
The $100,000 award is supporting collaborative
research between students and faculty in the arts,
humanities and social sciences. With its emphasis on active
learning and one-on-one interaction, the three-year program
underwritten by the grant adds an important dimension to the
college's work with students, according to Dr. Jacob E.
Nyenhuis, who is provost and professor of classics at Hope.
"Hope College works hard at preparing students to
be productive members of the intellectual community who are
able to pursue a variety of career opportunities," Nyenhuis
said. "Collaborative research involves the student first-
hand in the process of scholarly exploration and discovery
which characterize the academic life."
Nyenhuis noted that the program, which was
developed cooperatively by Hope's Deans' Council
representing all of the college's academic divisions, with
Dean James M. Gentile taking the lead, extends a model that
has long proven effective in the natural sciences and
mathematics at Hope. More than 100 students conduct
research on campus in the natural sciences and mathematics
One reason for the new emphasis, Nyenhuis said, is
that scholarship in the arts, humanities and social sciences
"We recognize that the history of scholarship in
the humanities in particular, and to some extent the social
sciences, has been more of a solitary sort, whereas
collaborative research has been more common in the natural
sciences," he said. "Because of the changing nature of the
scholarly work in the humanities and social sciences,
however, there is a greater openness to collaborative
Using institutional funds, Hope has sponsored a
limited program of research support in the additional
disciplines for the past seven years. According to
Nyenhuis, individual faculty members in the arts, humanities
and social sciences have also used collaborative, research-
based learning to good effect on their own. He feels that
the time is right to broaden the approach.
"We've had faculty members who've demonstrated
very clearly that student-faculty research in the arts,
humanities and social sciences is indeed feasible, and in
fact very valuable for student learning, in addition to
contributing to the advancement of a faculty member's own
scholarly work," he said.
An expansion of Hope's initial efforts, the grant
from the McGregor Fund is supporting six students in full-
time research with six faculty members for 10 weeks each
summer beginning this year. The grant is also providing
partial support for the students' faculty mentors as well as
funding for mentor training, supplies and other expenses
related to the researchers' work.
The plan, according to Nyenhuis, is for the
McGregor Fund grant to serve as a catalyst, with Hope
intending to continue and expand the program even after the
grant support ends in 2003.
The McGregor Fund is a private foundation
established in 1925 by gifts from Katherine and Tracy
McGregor "to relieve the misfortunes and promote the well-
being of mankind." The foundation awards grants to
organizations in the following areas: human services,
education, health care, arts and culture, and public
benefit. The area of principal interest of the foundation
is the City of Detroit and Macomb, Oakland and Wayne
The McGregor Fund has granted more than $120
million since its founding and had assets of $200 million as
of June 30, 2000. Additional information about the fund may
be obtained at www.mcgregorfund.org.